Regenerating Urban Neighbourhoods: Through Synergies of Natural and Social Capital

By Amy Oliver.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

An emerging field in architectural research and praxis is ‘Regenerative Design.’ Regenerative Design and Planning tenets go beyond conventional sustainable strategies, performance goals and green building practices. In contrast to conventional “less harm” approaches, regenerative strategies endeavor to build, intensify, and re-create natural and social capital. This is especially made possible through the intensification or creation of on-site synergies. This paper outlines methodologies and strategies for regenerating urban neighborhoods by employing a new approach to planning and design. Specifically, it begins to develop a synergistic framework. The paper asks, how can the notion of mutual dependencies or synergies—either programmatic, ecological, infrastructural, or economic—influence the ways in which we understand the nature of place, and subsequently develop strategies for adaptive reuse and urban regeneration? It stresses architectural and planning strategies that move towards being net-positive in natural and social capital and suggests a way of thinking about design that calls for the blurring of property lines and other spatial boundaries. It both provides a design and planning framework and describes one key case study in Canada.

Keywords: Regenerative Design, Synergy, Sustainability, Green Building

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp.79-90. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 436.024KB).

Amy Oliver

Graduate Student, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Université de Montréal, Canada

Amy Oliver holds a graduate degree in architecture and specializes in synergies in architectural design, particularly in terms of innovative mixed-uses and relationships between ecology and built form. She also holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto in International Relations, with a focus on International Development. She continues to work in the fields of research and design. She has interned at the firm Urban Arts Architecture in Vancouver, and with a nationally distributed publication. She is continuing her research at the Ph.D. level at the Université de Montréal, investigating the idea of regenerative synergies at the neighborhood scale. She has held several research assistantships at the University of British Columbia and at the Université de Montréal, contributing to journal articles and focusing her research on regenerative design and resilience.